How to Open a Bank Account

To deal with a bank, it will be necessary to open a bank account. For a general account, which is a combination of an ordinary deposit account and a regular savings account, as a rule, one person will have one account. When opening a bank account, you should choose a financial institution in the area in which you live.

What is required to open an account?
You will need to take your personal seal and documents that verify your identity to the counter at the bank where you are opening the account.

What Documents Are Required to Verify Your Identity?

For an individual

Your name, address and date of birth will be confirmed from the documents you provide to verify identity in (1) and (2) below. Also, the purpose of your business with the bank and your occupation will be confirmed.

(1) If the originals of the following documents used for verifying identity are presented directly at the counter, the bank will confirm the individual’s name, address and date of birth.

  • (i) Driver’s license
  • (ii) Passport
  • (iii) Individual Number Card(My Number Card)
  • (iv) Health insurance cards
  • (v) Residence card / Special permanent resident certificate
  • (vi) Personal seal registration certificate for an official seal used for transactions
  • (vii) Documents issued by public offices, with a photo of the individual’s face attached (however, this is only for documents presented in person).Etc.

(2) For the following documents used to verify identity, the individual should first present the originals at the bank counter. In addition, the bank will mail related documents to the customer, and based on confirmation of their delivery, the individual’s name, address and date of birth will be confirmed.

  • (viii) Certificate of residence copy
  • (ix) Certificate of items stated on the certificate of residence
  • (x) Personal seal registration certificate (excluding (1) (vi) above)
  • (xi) Family register and abridgement (attached to a copy of the family register supplement)
  • (xii) Documents issued by public offices (excluding (1) (vii) above)
  • Here, we have selected documents for verifying identity that are straightforward for foreign nationals to provide.
  • The items in (vi) – (xii) must have been created less than 6 months before the day they are presented to, or received in the mail at, the financial institution concerned. (The items in (vii) and (xii) should have no time limit to their validity.) The verification documents (i) – (v) must be valid on the day they are presented to, or received in the mail at, the financial institution concerned.
  • For specific identity verification documents, contact the financial institution concerned.
  • When transferring cash in excess of 100,000 yen, present documents at the counter to verify your identity, e.g. your driver’s license.

Personal Seal (registered seal)

When opening a deposit account or making withdrawals, you will need a personal seal (registered seal). As a precaution against the unlikely event that your bank passbook is stolen, we recommend that the registered seal is stored separately from documents related to the seal impression and passbook.

Types of seals that cannot be used as a registered seal

Seals with cartoon characters, etc.

If a lot of customers have the same seal, then it will be meaningless for the bank to verify the seal. Therefore, these kinds of seals cannot be used as a registered seal.

  • Confirm details with the bank concerned.

Seals made from materials that can be easily modified, such as rubber seals.

A rubber seal or stamp made from a potato deteriorates easily and, if modified, can no longer be verified as it differs from the original seal. Therefore, these kinds of seals cannot be used as a registered seal.

  • Handling procedures may vary depending on the bank.
  • Check with the bank for details.

Created by NTT TownPage based on “教えて!くらしと銀行(Japanese only)” on the Japanese Bankers Association website.

(Updated May 2017)